Unknown Enemy Upgrade

It might fill the bomber interceptor role until the Wasp comes along. its speed and maneuverability seem like a good match however its weapons are a bit underpowered, but it would work as a Paktahn interceptor. it would have more issues against a Skate cluster, but the designers wouldn't have a clue about those.

If it was later upgraded to mount ERIR and ELRIR missiles, it would increase its effectiveness. Not sure about swarmers, but it would be able to pick out bombers and engage them at range, much like how the F-14 was envisioned.

However the picture above mirrors pretty accurately what happened to the historical Bearcat, In an age of newly minted jet fighters, there was no need to produce a new prop-driven fighter, and for low-and-slow missions, there are still enough F-51's and Skyraiders to fit the bill. it found itself an odd-ship-out and was eventually discontinued.
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Does autoaim help you so much? Personally I always had my problems with autoaim to the point I often actually deactivated it. It fires at the point where the enemy is rater then the point where he will be. This can be annoing for fast nimble enemies that dodge a lot.
I do remember it being fairly useful, yeah. Especially in WC4, where by the time you got the Bearcat, you didn't face much in the way of small and fast enemies (except maybe Arrows once or twice). But yeah, in general autoaim could make things harder as well as easier.

However the picture above mirrors pretty accurately what happened to the historical Bearcat, In an age of newly minted jet fighters, there was no need to produce a new prop-driven fighter, and for low-and-slow missions, there are still enough F-51's and Skyraiders to fit the bill. it found itself an odd-ship-out and was eventually discontinued.
It kind of does, doesn't it? Prop-powered bombers and attack aircraft remained in use for quite a while yet, but fighters like the Bearcat were short-lived. Notably, one of the fighters we encounter in WCP is the Panther, which was historically the plane that replaced the Bearcat. Of course, that's probably just because by this point, the designers wanted quite consciously to mirror the Grumman naming sequence, but perhaps they also had in mind the idea that the Bearcat did follow the fate of its historical predecessor. It's actually kind of interesting, in this context, that the other space superiority fighter Confed has was named after the Panther's British equivalent, the de Havilland Vampire. But then again, they couldn't very well call it a Banshee, Demon, or Phantom, right? :)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
So, this week I finally dug up the mesh files for the two extra BW fighters, the Dagger and the Spectre, that were originally made for UE2, and never had a chance to show up anywhere. I'm obviously not going to add them too much into UE - maybe the Spectre will show up in the final cutscene where we see the Border Worlds fleet, but other than that, they probably won't even be added into the simulator. They will be in the ship viewer, however, and the ship files will be available, so if anybody wants to do something with them, they're basically all there. The only thing I won't bother with - out of sheer laziness, frankly - is to make any kind of VDU image for them.

More about these ships next time. Meanwhile, working on those two fighters, I also confronted the Rapier IV question, as that was the "new" ship already present in the original UE. As I said when we first announced this project, the changes we make are fairly minimalistic - in various places, there's quite a bit changing under the hood, but on the surface, UE is not meant to change too much. I mean, now that a few more years have passed, and having found that limiting the amount of changes actually did not help at all to make this project go faster, I am a bit more open to deeper changes, but reason tells me that if I started going down that path, there's no limit to the amount of changes I could wind up making. At the very least, I'd completely rebalance the main fighters, significantly reducing their stats (since every older fighter in UE is significantly better than the original). At some point in that process, the original UE would disappear, replaced with a remake - probably a better remake, but not so much better that it would be worth the effort.

Still, all that aside, the Rapier IV clearly has to go, because in the post-Arena world, it breaks canon in a significant way. But hey, the ship mesh is still good, right? It's just that instead of being a Rapier IV, it's actually now the Rapier II Blade variant from Arena. That's actually a fun connection to make, and a very logical one - if the image of the Border Worlds Militia we paint in UE is accurate, and it is an image of a force finally ready to start replacing its rag-tag collection of many disparate fighter types long out of production with new ships, then it makes sense for them to be buying relatively affordable ships. And looking at the ship stats in Arena, it's hard to imagine the Rapier being comparable in price to ships like the Panther or Vampire.

Anyway, here's some images of how the Rapier II Blade looks in the ship viewer. One thing you will notice right away is that its speed is different than in Arena. Maybe I should change the ordinary max velocity to Arena's 415 kps, I don't know. No difference to me, but somehow I still find it hard to swallow. It's clear that Arena's ship speeds were balanced to a completely different gameplay environment than other WC games, and a new Rapier that flies slower than the old Rapier just doesn't make sense, unless it becomes a heavily armoured pig. It's no big deal, though, because Star*Soldier implies that the ship gets a few more improvements during the next two decades. Perhaps one such improvement is adding a jump drive, more fuel, or whatever, something that makes the ship slower. Meanwhile, armour is a hard one to work out as well. Arena only has one armour value, it's not divided into front, back and sides. So, to determine the values here, I actually divided up Arena's 415 centimetres into four parts with more or less the same proportions between them as the original Rapier had. But I'm pretty inconsistent, because rather than dividing up shields into two parts, I just gave it 280 cm of shields all around. There needs to be something good about the new Rapier, after all :p. If anybody has ideas about what the earliest variant of the Rapier II Blade should be like, feel free to comment. I'm happy to change these, because hey, it makes no difference in UE anyway.

UE_Rapier_new_1.jpg
UE_Rapier_new_2.jpg


Oh, and since I don't like letting a story go untold... at some point in the early to mid-2000s, when a UE2 seemed like something that might viably happen, I actually wrote out detailed stats and history for the Rapier IV, which would have been posted on the UE2 website in order to make a new ship a bit easier to swallow. It's no longer relevant, obviously, but fun to look at, I think. The thing I like about it is that, having read far too many similar summaries of real aircraft histories, I wrote a development history that at least sounds fairly reasonable, even if half of it is basically a (lame?) attempt to justify using the Rapier IV name. There is also a not-so-subtle hint that UE2 would have at least partially taken place in the Dakota System. Anyway, as I said, it's no longer relevant - but if anybody's curious as to what could have been, here it is:

XS-1 Rapier IV-class Strike Fighter

Description: An impressive (and controversial) new design from Vieito Industries. Classified as a strike fighter, the Rapier IV is what the Rapier III failed to be - a fusion of the medium combat fighter and attack ship classes, taking the best features of both. The ship is also remarkable because it is the first ship made exclusively out of components produced in the Border Worlds.

Stats
Class : Strike Fighter (Medium)
Manufacturer : Vieito Industries
Length : 24 Meters
Mass : 21 Metric Tonnes
Max Velocity : 430 kps
Max Acceleration : 600 kps
Max Afterburner Velocity : 1500 kps
Max Afterburner Acceleration : 2400 kps
Afterburner Fuel : 360 units
Max Yaw : 110 dps
Max Pitch : 75 dps
Max Roll : 65 dps
YPR Rate of change : 170 dps
Shields : 280 cm equivalent
Shield Recharge Rate : 18 cm/second
Armor : 260/240 cm (Fore/Aft), 210 cm (Right/Left)
Core Strength : 170 cm equivalent
Weapons : 2 Viper Guns, 2 Particle Guns
Powerplant : 400
Recharge Rate : 45
Missile Hardpoints : 1 x 2 Light (DF), 2 x 4 Light (IR/HS/FF), 1 x 2 Medium (LT)
Missile Decoys : 24
Jump Capable : No

Development History: The XS-1 is the fourth ship to carry the name 'Rapier', and in some ways represents an extension of the war-era F-61 Rapier III project (which had been terminated when the prototype was destroyed in an accident). Although the Rapier IV has been developed by an entirely different company, it was initiated by a group of former Rapier III project staff members who were employed by Vieito Industries in the mid-2670s.

The project begun in early 2677, as a platform for the testing of an experimental new engine system - the multiple ion sub-engine array (MISEA) system. Following an analysis of MISEA's projected capabilities, Vieito concluded that the best platform to demonstrate the system's possibilities would be a medium fighter similar to the Border Worlds Militia's Rapier II. The company held an internal design proposal competition, and unsurprisingly, the best proposal came from one of the former Rapier III designers.

Basic design was completed by the end of 2677, and was well received by the Militia - who agreed to finance the development of two prototypes. The first prototype was partially completed in mid-2678, but delays in the development of the MISEA system forced the company to push the construction schedule back, with the first prototype being ready in late November 2678, and the second in February 2679. Flight testing finally begun in March 2679, and quickly proved the design was a great success - thanks to the MISEA system, the ship had a high afterburner velocity, and an exceedingly high acceleration rate. In addition, the system provided the ship with an improved manoeuvrability at a relatively low cost.

Impressed with the results, the Militia placed a preliminary order for 50 Rapier IVs. Although much will depend on the Militia's budget constraints, it is expected that this series will be followed by as many as another 200-300 Rapier IVs. Meanwhile, the first of the 50 Rapier IVs on order are expected to be completed in the first half of 2681.

There was one final postscript to the history of the prototype - when the development of the Brycer Armaments Ltd. Viper Cannon was completed in 2680, the Militia decided to add this weapon onto the prototypes. Thus, both prototypes have been rearmed, and are currently undergoing additional testing at Gibraltar Station in the Dakota System. However, while the Viper Cannon has so far performed admirably, its high costs mean that it is still unclear whether any more than a few of the serially-produced Rapier IVs will carry this weapon.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
With regards to the nature of the Border Worlds: there's a point in Wing Commander IV during the Masa system where they become a distinct political entity. Barbara Miles says in a TCN broadcast: "In our lead story, we’ll be talking to Admiral Tolwyn of the SRA regarding the escalating tensions between the frontier worlds and the Confederation. The Union of Border Worlds, as they now call themselves, indicate they remain at peace with the Confederation, but that Confed by-laws and constitution no longer govern them. In response, the Great Assembly has decreed that Border World vessels can no longer operate within Confed territory, unless under military escort."

The 'Border Worlds' were a region of space before this, the one that 'borders' the Kilrathi (and therefore the ones most impacted by the war, by nature of geography more than anything else.) They were the most recent Confederation worlds founded, colonies of older planets... and as such they didn't have representation in the Senate (yet.) Think the various territories in the US before they became states. It's not until 2673 at a specific point during the opening of WC4 where they become their own nation, and even then it's only some of what were likely considered 'the Border Worlds' before.

Re: designations - I obviously tried to reuse the WW2 USN style designations in Star Citizen, with only limited success (no one else who writes the fiction seems to understand how they work...)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Re: designations - I obviously tried to reuse the WW2 USN style designations in Star Citizen, with only limited success (no one else who writes the fiction seems to understand how they work...)
Heh, yeah, it's a much more misleading system, but especially so after we've become used to the subsequent unified designation system. We're so used to higher numbers being newer, that when you encounter a case like the F3H Demon being newer and better than the F9F, it seems to make no sense without an explanation. I suppose the confusion would have been one of the reasons the DoD decided to push through the unified system based on USAF designations in the first place, though :).
 
One comment on the Blade, the paint scheme seems a bit too symmetrical IMO, most of the UBW fighters have some pretty wacky paint jobs. Really the Vindicator is the closest to having a symmetrical paint job and even that fighter's nacelles have different paint. I suppose one could make the argument that since the Blade is a new fighter and not a cobbled-together flying nightmare that it warrants a nice new paint job, but I think it's something the UBW tends to do as a point of pride. I'd still fly it though :)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Heh, I never even noticed any asymmetry on BW ships :). Certainly, though, these textures were intended to convey a sharply different feeling than the original BW fighters. Do you remember when you first see the Crossbow in the first WC2 addon? Every ship you had flown up to that point, even if they looked relatively clean, had used the same basic paint jobs. Now you saw this magnificent, snow-white-and-blue ship, and it oozed newness.

Actually, in all honesty, I'm kind of guessing as to our intentions, because I have no recall of the conversations we had at the time :). All I really remember is that Eder and I had a few discussions on the Rapier IV and how it would be used. Did we talk about what its textures should convey? We may have... but then again, we might not have, because the ship kind of came out of the blue. It just happened that Eder felt like modelling the SWC Rapier at some point, and when he showed the (textured? Untextured?) model to me, we decided to shove it into UE.

The other two new ships we had for UE2 were different, in that they were "made to order", rather than as a spur-of-the-moment thing. Even then, however, their textures radically differ from each other, and they don't necessarily look brand-new.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Here's another possibility about the Princeton. Maybe Confed allowed the UBW to "purchase" the Princeton. It was already damaged and requiring repair and may have been an older design. The BWs (a very small and unthreatening "nation" without Confed defectors) having a fleet carrier would allow it better protect its from Kilrathi raids and thus reduce the level of expenditure by Confed in defending the BWs. It would also act as a deterrent to Kilrathi raids lingering in a system and result in faster raids or rarer large ones.

Of course there are indications where the Border Worlds did receive better protection/support between 2673 and 2681. And thus, a ship like the Princeton would not be serving in the Border Worlds from 2673 on. The Midway's first mission was in taking care of Kilrathi raiders and the Eisen was not very far away either at the time. Arena also implies that the Border Worlds were being treated better defensive in the 2680s and 2690s - granted there was a war on.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Here's another possibility about the Princeton. Maybe Confed allowed the UBW to "purchase" the Princeton. It was already damaged and requiring repair and may have been an older design. The BWs (a very small and unthreatening "nation" without Confed defectors) having a fleet carrier would allow it better protect its from Kilrathi raids and thus reduce the level of expenditure by Confed in defending the BWs. It would also act as a deterrent to Kilrathi raids lingering in a system and result in faster raids or rarer large ones.
First up, thanks for getting me to spend half an hour re-reading a discussion from two years ago, jerk :p. But man, what a fascinating discussion. All that Bearcat stuff was awesome. I particularly like how I found myself nodding in agreement with myself from two years ago talking about the possibility of the Bearcat as an F-5 Tiger equivalent... and then, just like myself two years ago, being surprised by the reminder that the Bearcat originally had autoaim, and so was much better than it felt in UE. Yet again this proves that my memory is basically a sieve.

As for the Princeton, we must keep in mind that nothing is forever and all that. After WWII, a number of countries ended up buying surplus aircraft carriers from the British. Australia had two aircraft carriers. Argentina and Brazil had one each, IIRC. Thirty years later, faced with the question of finding replacements for their WWII-era aircraft carriers, Australia decided to just get rid of their carrier component entirely - the world was a different place, and carriers seemed like a pointless luxury. We can easily imagine something similar with the Princeton, with the BW insisting on having a carrier fleet in 2673, but by the 2680s they would find that Confed is now giving them enough protection that they no longer need a carrier, or only need small escort carriers. Not that this changes anything in terms of the original question of how and why Confed let them keep it in 2673. But I think ultimately it's not a significant issue. The carrier was a war-era carrier, after all. If the British were willing to sell their war-era carriers abroad shortly after the war, there is nothing implausible about Confed being willing to give up a war-era carrier either. Particularly after discovering that the main reason the carrier was kept in their forces was to take part in an unnecessary and self-inflicted war against a former ally.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
You're welcome! :D

As for the Princeton, we must keep in mind that nothing is forever and all that. After WWII, a number of countries ended up buying surplus aircraft carriers from the British. Australia had two aircraft carriers. Argentina and Brazil had one each, IIRC. Thirty years later, faced with the question of finding replacements for their WWII-era aircraft carriers, Australia decided to just get rid of their carrier component entirely - the world was a different place, and carriers seemed like a pointless luxury. We can easily imagine something similar with the Princeton, with the BW insisting on having a carrier fleet in 2673, but by the 2680s they would find that Confed is now giving them enough protection that they no longer need a carrier, or only need small escort carriers. Not that this changes anything in terms of the original question of how and why Confed let them keep it in 2673. But I think ultimately it's not a significant issue. The carrier was a war-era carrier, after all. If the British were willing to sell their war-era carriers abroad shortly after the war, there is nothing implausible about Confed being willing to give up a war-era carrier either. Particularly after discovering that the main reason the carrier was kept in their forces was to take part in an unnecessary and self-inflicted war against a former ally.
This was kind of what I was thinking, actually.... Just better written with some historical references.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
On a sidenote, I think one of the funny things we've learned to take for granted in the WC universe is the role of aircraft carriers in maintaining law and order. It's really a rather remarkable thing, if you think about it, because those are really, really expensive assets to deploy. It seems to indicate that those law and order issues must indeed be great (I mean, the last and indeed only time, as far as I know, the US employed a major warship against pirates was back in the early 19th century against the Barbary Coast pirates; recently various nations have deployed destroyers on patrol around Somalia, but they don't actually fight anything or anyone). Even so, it still sounds kind of silly when you imagine politicians proclaiming that they need a fully armed fleet carrier to police their own territory...

Also: for the next month or two (...or three, or four, however long it takes!), I'm going into ultra-low-presence mode, because I really need to force myself to concentrate on PhD writing. If anyone desperately needs to ask me something, naturally I'll still get email notifications if you send me a PM. But as for thread discussions, I'm just not going to touch them. I'll be back...
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
On the other hand, deploying carriers to maintain law and order in WC makes sense in a certain way, because most pirate-forces are fighter-based, as established in "Privateer" and "The Price of Freedom" (Hellespont). Besides, before Lt. Casey came aboard the Midway, she was involved in successfully taking out a group of renegade Kilrathi. (see Prophecy's ICIS manual)

Regarding the Princeton, my impression was that Confed let the UBW keep her along with the captured Bearcats as some form of apology for Tolwyn's crimes.

Good luck with your PhD. :)
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Also: for the next month or two (...or three, or four, however long it takes!), I'm going into ultra-low-presence mode, because I really need to force myself to concentrate on PhD writing. If anyone desperately needs to ask me something, naturally I'll still get email notifications if you send me a PM. But as for thread discussions, I'm just not going to touch them. I'll be back...
So does that mean we won't get any updates on the Unknown Enemy Upgrade for a while...?
 

Deathsnake

Rear Admiral
So time goes by - any News?

Play it this week - just a 3D file needed to run it on a Win10 Pro 64 - Work with 3DFX Nglide support

This with the OpenGL Upgrade and DarkSentinel + DefianceIndustries Upgrades and Models of his new Concordia Class ;) - Special the last cutscene is still amazing with the full launch of the Princeton fighters
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Ouch. Man, those cutscenes were awkward. Although probably they really couldn't get that much better in terms of scripting. The problem with UE wasn't that we couldn't script scenes properly, but rather that we tried to do stuff that just went too far beyond what the game was intended for - there's so much happening in these scenes! Very brave, very foolish. Standoff did much better, by being much more constrained, relying mostly on very simple shots and very simple action.

And the Princeton... oh, man :D. At the time, I was very dissatisfied with the number of ships you could fit in a row on the Princeton - I mean, given how big WC fighters are (and in UE, scale for fighters was all over the place), you just couldn't fit that many. So, the Princeton is rescaled... I think it's like 200% the size of the original ship. The effect is very impressive, with all those fighters streaming out. But it could never work with an updated model, which would necessarily be in the right scale ;).

Oh, but you asked about news. Uhm… I, uh, left the news in my other pants. Or maybe I put them in the washer by accident. One way or the other... look behind you, a three-headed monkey!
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I don't know about that. Well, I mena, yes, I know WC fighter scale is wonky (especially WC1), but I don't know if this is as much of a problem as we think it is. Historical carriers also grappled with these issues, and the fact is, it's never a comfortable fit - there's very few carriers that you look at, and say, "yeah, I can see how they fit these many planes." And of course, the main space that we see in the games is actually the flight deck. Let's consider what that means. Here's a funny photo of the USS Yorktown in 1940 - its flight deck is completely filled with planes, beyond any chance of actual usability - presumably, this was a voyage on which the Yorktown was ferrying extra planes that would be offloaded at another naval air station (probably Hawaii). But here's the thing: this carrier ordinarily had a compliment of 90 planes, and if you try counting all the planes packed on that deck, you probably won't count that many more than 90. And look how squished those planes are, at that - whatever can fold wings, has folded wings, but also the planes are stuffed together as closely as possible. The space between a plane's wings and its tail serves as the space for the neighbour's wings. Of course, in reality, the carrier's aircraft compliment was ordinarily stored under the deck, and stored very creatively, too - planes bunched up together, planes hung from the ceiling, and so on.

So, if we're talking about WC carriers, there's two things we need to consider: firstly, the flight decks we see are probably not the main space where ships are kept. You see a few small hangar bays along the sides, but there's probably also elevators leading down to a more proper hangar deck. And secondly, when we arrange ships in cutscenes and the like, we do it in a way that's completely different to how things are done in reality. Look at how much space there is between those fighters on the Princeton in the cutscene above. Now, compare that with this photo of the USS Enterprise at the Battle of Midway, just as it's launching its bombers. In my cutscene, all those planes could launch practically simultaneously - well, row by row, but each row could launch all at once. But on that shot of the Enterprise, you can see that each plane will be launching one-by-one, with a couple of minutes to arrange the next one - because, of course, no carrier of that time had more than two launch catapults on the deck anyway. I don't remember if we're ever told how many launch catapults there are on the Lexington and her sister ships, but most likely the answer is two, or four at best. So, that cutscene should actually have had just a couple of fighters spotted for launch, and then the rest bunched up uncomfortably right behind, ready to be rolled into position one by one.
 

Deathsnake

Rear Admiral
2018-10-06.png
I've done Long ago with the old Saga Prologue the test.

The WC Bible says 84 fighters on the Yorktown - it was close but finish it with I think 36 Arrow, 24 Hellcat, 12 Longbow and 12 Thunderbolt. Take me 3 Hours or so :D The Saga Model is bigger then Canon and the fighters smaller. I think i could do that again :D

Not so much space between the 6 Banshee but ;) Now row after row I cut put in all 84 BW fighters

Thats the old fighters form the Prologue Demo of WC Saga. I have better one but untextured and no Uvmap :(

https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=71822.msg1419409#msg1419409
had not his Murphy and Midway class from Starman01 but the Avenger, Banshee, Vindicator, Durango and mod. Tarawa. If someone help me uvmap them and texture it I could make some Videos Ingame ;) Help me out :D

PS: I have them as COB files. Don't know with what Prog Starman01 done them. Turrets, Engines are not the prob - can do them by myself.
 
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